20 SES 12, Exploring Sutdents' National and Euorpean Identities at Three European Schools- An Extended Session with Focus on the European Perspective; Interculturality; Identity and Inclusion and Qualities of Learning within Volunteering in the Global South
The intergovernmental European Schools cater primarily for children of staff working at EU institutions and other multilingual, mobile families. Since their establishment in the 1950’s, the ethos of these schools has been to preserve children’s national identities, cultures and languages, which they do partly by providing a mother tongue education through several ‘language sections’. Alongside this aim, and considered of equal importance, is the philosophy that these children who come from a variety of European backgrounds should be educated side by side in order to become Europeans with a shared sense of European identity and an understanding and respect for one another. This paper explores European School students’ constructions of their national and European identities focusing on their discourses around national identity and their conceptualizations and feelings of European identity. Data is drawn from interviews conducted as part of an ESRC-funded project that involved a multiple case-study of three European Schools, located in England, Belgium and Spain.
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